As an 18 year old, I felt called to missions, but was unsure how to pursue that calling, the only training I had had was a DTS. After much prayer and discussion with others, it was hard to escape the fact that knowing something of the Bible would be important. How could I hope to explain my faith if I didn’t take the time to know it first? So just days before the school was due to begin, I applied to the SBS in Canberra, Australia.
My involvement with SBS did not end with graduation. I felt that I had grown tremendously throughout my year of studying the Bible, and I really wanted to be a part of equipping others. With that in mind I joined SBS staff in 2000, and have been on SBS since with the exception of a few years. Throughout this time, several people challenged me to begin writing, my wife, my mother, several brothers-in-law, and along with all of us at the 2012 North American Hub this last year, Ron.
To my regret, for years I did nothing about those challenges. I felt that giving a lecture was one thing, I was somewhat comfortable with that, but the idea of sitting down and writing a book was a lot more intimidating! I am not a perfectionist, but the idea of my thoughts, my opinions, my interpretations, and my less than perfect grammar; written down for all to see terrified me!
My wife, Christina, continued to challenge me and began writing herself. I began to feel convicted, in honest moments I had to admit that it was pride that was stopping me from at least trying to write. I was afraid to look foolish, and so did nothing. That conviction, together with Christina’s example pushed me to begin the process of writing a book. I really enjoy teaching Ecclesiastes, and so I decided to start there. My first effort ‘Ecclesiastes – a Successful Search for Meaning’ was essentially an expansion of my Ecclesiastes lecture - it’s a short commentary. About a month after completing that, I was asked my thoughts on a whole list of Bible difficulties, and to my astonishment I found that I had responses to many of them, and so I began to write again. This led to a second book ‘Bible Contradictions?’ and my blog www.biblecontradictions.ca . I am currently working on a third book; the focus is Genesis 1-3.
I want to encourage other SBS staff to share their thoughts through writing. Many of you have spent years, in God’s Word; you have something valuable to offer! You can read articles on writing, and I’m sure you are reading lots of things written by others, but at some point if you want to write you need to set the time aside, sit down, and actually begin. Perhaps you will find it helpful to set aside an evening each week where you spend several hours writing. Begin with an article, a topic that you care about, or take a teaching you have coming up and format it, so that it could be presented to someone in written form. A lot can be learnt by beginning, by putting something together, re-reading and editing it, and then having someone comment on it. Your first attempt isn’t likely to be a masterpiece, but you have to start somewhere. Don’t let a desire for perfection stop you from trying.”